Monday, June 01, 2009

Traditional or Arty

I often here people classifying my type of quilting. It doesn't really worry me what answers they come up with, I am going to do what I do, but I have wondered where I would put myself. Am I traditional? Maybe and art quilter? Perhaps contemporary (isn't everyone who is making work now technically?). I think I finally have my answer and it's been brought home to me by the two magazines that arrived this morning. 'American Quilter' and 'Quilting Arts' have both turned up together, and as I am trying to be quiet so I will definitely hear the door I had a look through them both. Back to back it becomes very clear to me that one will not be renewed, because it doesn't inspire me. However I think many people would be surprised to find it is 'Quilting Arts' that just leaves me cold. I don't get most art quilts. They don't talk to me. I don't want to paint on my fabric, I like painting with fabric. I guess I use fabric to get away from traditional art materials where a lot of people are bringing the materials into quilting. I could see me ripping and burning fabric, which would fit in with the sort of work that appears in 'Quilting Arts' but I wouldn't be looking for the end results that would fit.

On the other hand I've loved this issue of 'American Quilter'. I am amused by the two black wholecloths in the Paducah show, I just wish I had had time to put one of mine in. I like the idea of quilting on vintage linen. I even fancy making something like the pattern in there. I understand the quilts it shows (and there are a range from very traditional to some lovely art quilts) and many of them inspire me. Will you recognise the inspiration when I've finished with it? I doubt it, but I will know and I will enjoy telling people what prompted my ideas, I love the disbelieving looks.

So I would say, I tend to traditional when I comes to quilting. I will stretch it a bit (OK a lot) but I like even my wall quilts to feel and move like fabric. I don't want to work with paper or paint, I might hand dye some of my fabrics, I might even put the dye on with a brush if I need to get a hair or fur texture, but that is as close as I want to come to 'normal' art materials. I love what I do and I know what I love.

1 comment:

Deb Geyer said...

I agree, Ferret. The reason that I tend to traditional quilting is that I believe the feel of the quilt is a big part of my quilts. I want them to be soft and cuddly so that the recipients can wrap up in them and feel the hugs I send over the miles. That doesn't work so well if the quilt is covered with paper, wire, paint etc!